Phil Ackroyd's Blog (19)

Why use a Smartboard? In Dutch!

We now have the three "Why use a Smartboard?" videos subtitled in Dutch, courtesy of Ton: 

This is a first…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on September 5, 2013 at 11:30 — No Comments

Using students' own devices?

The idea of using students own devices to interact with the screen are probably not quite there yet, but let's future gaze.  I have successfully used poll everywhere  (free for audiences less than 40) to create questions I can put into standard Powerpoint shows.  The audience can then choose how to respond, via a text message, a web interface, or Twitter.  This means the audience can participate, even with a basic…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on May 17, 2013 at 9:35 — No Comments

Mouse Mischief

Why not take class interaction a step further than an interactive whiteboard?  Whiteboard manufacturers also produce response handsets, but they tend to be expensive. The free Microsoft  Mouse Mischief just uses standard wireless mice, plus a USB hub, so you can put together 10 mice and a hub for under £120. There is a glossy Microsoft promo video here, (for some reason, aimed at…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on May 9, 2013 at 9:00 — 2 Comments

Back to whiteboard basics

Calling all new visitors...welcome! I am conscious of the fact that new members may be joining this community all the time, so perhaps I can use this posting to recap some Interactive Whiteboard  (IWB) basics.  There are some short instructional videos (each just a few minutes long) which demonstrate some possibilities, and also build confidence in using the hardware and software. Also don’t…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on May 7, 2013 at 9:19 — 3 Comments

Powerpoint hidden feature

Did you know that PowerPoint has a hidden annotation tool built in?  Hover your mouse around the bottom left of your slides during a show, and you should see a pen and highlighter tool you can use on your slides.  Once again this is technology you can use on an interactive whiteboard, but also anywhere else too.  Combine this with the wireless mouse mentioned in a earlier post, and I am sure you can see some interesting (and more interactive) uses for this in any classroom.

Added by Phil Ackroyd on April 18, 2013 at 13:48 — 1 Comment

The Writing's on the Wall

An essential tool for a whiteboard (and elsewhere)  is an online noticeboard.  If you are not sure what I mean,here’s one I prepared earlier using Lino-it. add your own post!

As you would expect, these offer somewhere to post up short notes, comments, opinions, images and even videos. The beauty of these is that you and students can add to them from anywhere with an internet connection, so…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on March 21, 2013 at 17:30 — No Comments

Triptico Update

In a previous post I have sung the praises of the free Tripticosoftware, and distributed in on a stick during my face to face training session with champions last September.  (My 4 minute introduction to some of the apps is available here, plus a …

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on March 18, 2013 at 11:30 — No Comments

Handwriting Calculator

Something a little different today, a free app for the iPad/iPhone/Android devices: the MyScript Calculator.  A calculator that consists of … a blank sheet of paper.  Yes, you just write your calculations on the blank sheet of paper, and it just does the calculation for you.   Take a look at http://youtu.be/qSESgl3gCFM to see just how simple (and powerful) this is. 

Can we have a version for Windows that would work on an IWB…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on March 7, 2013 at 14:27 — 1 Comment

The humble wireless mouse

You would have to be very lucky to have an interactive whiteboard in every classroom you teach in, so what can you do?  A cheap bit of kit and some lateral thinking can help: the humble wireless mouse.  A good one costs less than GBP12 or so, and I reckon teachers should regard them as the equivalent of the the box of chalk I started my career with: don’t enter a classroom without one.  You can pass it round the classroom, and combined with some of the software mentioned already in this blog…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on February 28, 2013 at 10:57 — No Comments

Newcomers start here: IWB basics

I am conscious of the fact that new members may be joining this community all the time, so perhaps I can use this posting to recap some Interactive Whiteboard  (IWB) basics.  There are some short instructional videos (each just a few minutes long) which demonstrate some possibilities, and also build confidence in using the hardware and software. Also don’t forget that you should also be able to put the software…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on February 20, 2013 at 11:00 — 1 Comment

I'm a Wordle fan

Wordle is a fabulous, free, web tool.  It makes designs out of the text you give it.  This 5 minute introductory video demonstrates what I mean.   At first sight it might seem just a novelty, but as you start to create and  explore you will see scope for lots of activities within and outside the classroom, both teacher-led and student-led.  Personally I sometimes just…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on February 14, 2013 at 11:21 — 2 Comments

The wheel non-reinvention unit: sharing!

Are you reinventing the wheel?  There are lots of clever people out there, producing good quality learning resources perfect for an IWB, they are happy to share with you.  Here are three searchable resources you might want to look at, two geared to particular hardware, but another more generic:

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on February 7, 2013 at 9:30 — 2 Comments

MindMapping apps

Mindmapping software is ideal for use with an interactive whiteboard.  It offers great advantages over the use of paper flip boards, as you can add, delete and move ideas around as you go. Good quality software should also allow you to export the ideas to a Word or PowerPoint format. My own personal favourite software is MindGenius, but it is not free.  Take a look at this 1…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on January 31, 2013 at 10:00 — 2 Comments

Don't miss out on Wordmagnets!

Wordmagnets is one element of the Triptico package I have blogged about earlier this year, but is well worth a posting on its own.  It is a very simple idea (think fridge magnets with words or phrases on them) but exploits to the full the movement feature of any interactive whiteboard. Just add one teacher with imagination!  It can also be used with students of any age or ability.  Rather than just describe it, take a look at …

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on January 24, 2013 at 10:30 — No Comments

Make your own recordings

Almost a side feature of IWB software which is often ignored or overlooked is the screen recording feature.  This allows you to “talk-over” whatever process is happening on screen, just using a basic microphone.   This means you can explain how to use a website, do a software tutorial, or talk over a PowerPoint show whilst recording it.  The resulting screencast can then be shared with students, via your network or the web, so they can watch and listen as often as they need to- personalising…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on January 17, 2013 at 11:21 — No Comments

Smoothboard software

A little bit of future-gazing for a change.  It seems to me that the next step on from interactive whiteboards is to integrate the use of tablets and other portable devices into what is happening in the classroom.  A number of teachers are using iPads and other tablets imaginatively, but would like to easily connect the tablet to the projected image from the classroom PC and projector.  This has up to now involved buying kit to connect, but a free app called Smoothboard may give a…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on January 10, 2013 at 11:14 — 1 Comment

Triptico Free Software

Happy New Year to everyone! 

My first posting this year is about the fabulous free software called Triptico.   I have long been a fan of this software, created by a very talented English teacher from the North East of England.  They are exactly the tools teachers are looking for to create classroom activities.  They are also very easy to use.  Here is a…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on January 3, 2013 at 11:00 — No Comments

Geogebra software on an IWB

I am a great fan of Geogebra software, and the touch capability of an interactive whiteboard allows you dynamically show mathematical drawings and functions changing before your very eyes....get your students to participate too.  Geogebra is free to download, and has a fairly short learning curve.  It can be used at a very basic mathematical level right up to degree level. If you have never used the software before I have made a couple of videos showing what it can do.  There is my…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on December 4, 2012 at 15:13 — No Comments

Ways to use an IWB no.1: IWB software

Hi there, I intend to use this blog to publicise some of the opportunities an IWB offers you in the classroom.  Although I don't want to just look at the software that comes with these interactive whiteboards, it is probably a good place to start.   I also want to practice what I preach. So...I have created some short  instructional videos here for you to look at.  There is also a set…

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Added by Phil Ackroyd on November 22, 2012 at 15:00 — No Comments

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